No, that isn't a typo. I've been to multiple gun shows over the last few weeks and haven't mentioned any of them.
As I've noted before, I have a new job, and it really is soaking up a lot of my time (In a good way--it's nice to look forward to work again.). While I've had time to hit the shows, I haven't had a lot of time to write anything about it. But today has decided to be a bit of a lazy day, and so there's time for a few words on what has been bought and seen.
The "bought" portion you see to the left. A Doublestar Star-15, a Rossi Puma in .357 Magnum and a Taurus Model 94 in .22 LR.
The Doublestar is an orphan; it's owner deceased. A friend's family was enlisted to sell off some (perhaps all) of his guns. I was in the market for another mid-grade AR, and so it came home with me. It has a number of options, including rails and I believe a chrome-lined chamber and bore. Judging from wear, it was shot very little.
The Puma is something I've been looking for for some time, as I have a habit of having a carbine in all my pistol calibers, and I didn't have one in .38 Special/.357 Magnum. It's an older model, also apparently shot very little. (Who buys guns and doesn't shoot them?) While I'd rather have had the stainless steel version, I'm good with this one. I understand that I could have ordered it, but I wanted to feel the gun before buying, and this one was at a very good price. Yes, the stock is black, so now I have an Evil Black Politically Correct Urban Assault Rifle.
Somewhere out there, an English Composition teacher's head just exploded. :-)
The Taurus has two purposes. First, it's fun and cheap to shoot. Second, it's a good tool for training in the use of snubbies, which are a bit more difficult to shoot than larger revolvers. Given that a J-frame sized Charter Arms has become my carry piece of choice (on the now very limited occasions where I can legally carry), I felt the need for something I could use for practice without spending a fortune in ammo. Given the price of .38 Special, it won't take very many boxes of ammo that I don't buy to pay for this little gun.
I could wish it had a better trigger pull in DA, since it's heavy as hell, but if you can shoot it smoothly, you can shoot anything. I'm seriously considering my first foray into revolver triggers to see if I can lighten it up to be roughly equal to my other revolvers.
Another item I've bought is the Evil Black Assault Pack seen to the right. I've been reevaluating what it would take to get me home in the case of being at work, or out and about, when Something Bad and Unexpected happens. Some of the items I've been relying on are quite frankly a bit heavy for my taste these days, and the big pack I was using is one of them. I'm moving toward smaller, lighter, easier to carry. I'll keep the big pack in just in case I get really worried, but for the every day level of concern, this one will work better with my current physical abilities.
Yes, getting old sucks, especially when you've used yourself rather hard in your younger years. Plantar fasciitis effing hurts to be no more serious than it is. Until I can get it under control, my days as a pack mule are over. Even once I do, I'll have to be much more careful, and part of that is going to be carrying less weight around--thus, a lighter "Get My Fat Old Butt Home" kit.
By going smaller and lighter, I'm going to be giving up some of the items I had hoped to have to see me home, and compromising on others. However, I've been researching just how the ultra-light/fast backpacking community does things, and I think I can do it without unduly compromising my ability to get home, or my level of "comfort" in the process.
It doesn't hurt that I'm gaining a few pounds by the enforced elimination of my firearm and ammunition. My workplace is a legislated victim zone, so being a law-abiding gun owner, I'm grudgingly following the law. Of course, should ugly things start happening, I may review this position. :-)
On to the "seen", and I have to say, something seems to be going on. Starting in January, attendance at the shows I've been to is pretty well off the scale. A wait of 30 minutes just to get in the door is now something that you just have to expect. As usual, the crowd is friendly, and strangers are perfectly happy to compare notes on many topics, not just guns. From my conversations, neither of our political parties are currently held in high esteem. That does not mean that Ron Paul is any sort of shoe-in, however, as people are equally wary of him and some of his positions. However, people are open to discussing, as opposed to arguing about, those positions, and I've found that at least some folk seem to come around when you explain the principles behind them.
It's going to take us a long time to get over "sound bite politics".
I've also noted a big uptick in purchases. Just yesterday, while waiting outside the door, I noted that about 1-in-6/7 were exiting with obviously new guns (as in new in the box guns), and a similar number were exiting with ammo--many in case lots. Even more interesting was the number exiting with multi-case lots of ammo, often in a single caliber. I've seen this at the last three big shows I've been at. Why? I think people are worried. They're worried about the possible second term of His Onesie-ness. They're worried that prices of are going up, and they want to get it while it's still relatively cheap. They're worried about the economy, and what if it isn't as good as "they" say it is. They are, in general terms, getting damned worried. Let's hope they don't get well and truly scared, more or less panicked.
I've also noted a lot of folks selling off hunting guns, but turning the money generated around to buy EBRs and associated goods. Few people are buying hunting arms, but I've seen more than a few looking to sell or trade. If you needed one, you can get a deal right now.
I'm also noting an increasing number of vendors at the show selling things such as shelf stable, long term storage foods. Interest at their booths seems steady. I can't really tell how their sales are, since most orders seem to be of the "to be delivered" variety.
Prices at the shows seem to be stable, at least for now. I'm seeing some variability from show to show, but there doesn't seem to be an upward trend in any prices just yet. I'm concerned that I am seeing upward pressure on ammo prices, and I'm keeping an eye on that.
I hope this all means that We The People are waking up and beginning to look toward taking care of ourselves. Because the other alternatives are not nearly so pleasant to consider.